Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 101, Issue 2, pp 119–123 | Cite as

Neighbourhood Effects on Hospitalization in Early Childhood

  • Lan T. H. Vu
  • Nazeem MuhajarineEmail author
Quantitative Research



To determine whether characteristics of neighbourhoods in which children live, such as socio-economic disadvantage, physical infrastructure, programs and services, social disconnection, smoking prevalence, and overcrowding, are related to hospitalization rates from birth to age six, independent of individual-level factors.


We studied a population of 8,504 children born in Saskatoon, Canada, over a three-year period (1992-1994). The birth cohort was retrospectively followed until children reached age six. Birth registry records were linked to health care utilization files to create continuous histories of health care utilization for each child. Information on the neighbourhood in which the child’s family resided at his or her birth was extracted from Statistics Canada’s 1991 Census and numerous local sources. A longitudinal and multilevel design was employed to examine the effect of neighbourhood characteristics and individual-level factors on childhood hospitalization rate.


Male children, children born to mothers under 20 years of age, Aboriginal children, children in low-income families, and those with adverse birth outcomes had significantly higher rates of hospitalization. In addition to these individual factors, children living in economically disadvantaged neighbourhoods, neighbourhoods in poor physical condition, and neighbourhoods with higher average household size had significantly higher rates of hospitalization.


The kind of neighbourhood families live in has an impact on their children’s risk of hospitalization, above and beyond the family’s own characteristics. These findings provide additional support for a ‘healthy community’ approach that uses community development and healthy public policy to create safe, health-promoting neighbourhoods for all families.

Key words

Children’s hospitalization neighbourhood effects adverse birth outcomes family income status 



Déterminer si les caractéristiques des quartiers où habitent les enfants comme une situation socioéconomique défavorisée, les infrastructures matérielles, les programmes et les services, la rupture sociale, la prévalence du tabagisme et le surpeuplement, influent sur les taux d’hospitalisation de la naissance à l’âge de six ans, indépendamment des facteurs individuels.


Sur une période de trois ans (1992-1994), nous avons étudié une population de 8 504 enfants nés à Saskatoon, au Canada. La cohorte de naissance a été suivie rétrospectivement jusqu’à ce que les enfants atteignent l’âge de six ans. Le registre de naissance a été relié aux dossiers d’utilisation des soins de santé afin d’établir un historique continu de l’utilisation des soins de santé pour chaque enfant. Les renseignements sur les quartiers où résidaient les familles des enfants à leur naissance ont été tirés du Recensement de 1991 de Statistique Canada et de nombreuses sources locales. Nous avons eu recours à une enquête longitudinale et multiniveau pour examiner l’effet des caractéristiques des quartiers et des facteurs individuels sur le taux d’hospitalisation des enfants.


Les garçons, les enfants nés de mères de moins de 20 ans, les enfants autochtones, les enfants provenant de familles à faibles revenus, ainsi que les enfants nés en mauvaise santé présentaient des taux d’hospitalisation beaucoup plus élevés. En plus de ces facteurs individuels, les enfants habitant des quartiers défavorisés sur le plan économique, des quartiers délabrés et des quartiers comportant des ménages de taille supérieure à la moyenne avaient des taux d’hospitalisation beaucoup plus élevés.


Le type de quartier où habitent les familles a une incidence sur le risque d’hospitalisation de leurs enfants, au-delà des caractéristiques propres aux familles. Ces résultats fournissent des arguments à l’appui de l’approche dite des « communautés saines », qui utilise le développement communautaire et des politiques publiques favorisant la santé afin d’établir des quartiers sécuritaires et favorables à la santé pour toutes les familles.

Mots clés

hospitalisation des enfants effets du quartier maladies du nourrisson et du nouveau-né revenu familial 


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EpidemiologyHanoi School of Public HealthHanoiVietnam
  2. 2.Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, College of MedicineUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada

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